If you have decided to take up golf as a hobby you will be rewarded with the benefits of fresh air, exercise, and the addition of many new friends and acquaintances. Like any project you approach in life your attitude and expectations will determine your enjoyment of the game.
Take stock of your personal traits. Are you overly competitive? If you are, remember the road to a low handicap is littered with bad shots, bunkers, water hazards and triple digit scores on your round. You will invest a lot of time in practice. Welcome every hook, slice and 3 putt as a learning opportunity. Even Tiger Woods needs a coach to help him with his game.
If you like to meet new people golf provides you with opportunities for social interaction. You will get to meet new people in a setting in which you both have an avid interest. This makes for easy conversation and more opportunities to improve your game. Most clubs offer single players the opportunity to play the round together, if you would prefer to play alone just mention this to the club pro when arranging your tee time.
How much golf equipment do you actually need. Golf can be a very expensive game but there are affordable options. A high-end brand name set of clubs can set you back several thousand dollars but a good used set will cost you a few hundred dollars. Before you buy clubs it is a good idea to visit golf stores and club pro shops. You can test out different types of clubs, determine which club length is best for you, get to know the different types of grips available and learn the difference between graphite and steel shafts. You can learn about the type of golf ball that will best suit you as a beginner. Having a golf ball with the correct compression will help you make the most of your game.
If you want to increase the exercise benefits of golf you can choose to walk the 18 holes. When you are choosing a golf bag you will first need to decide if you are going to walk or ride, your choice here will be a carry or cart bag. Golf bags are available in a range of materials so choose one that is suited to the climate in which you will play most of your golf. Golf shoes are important, make sure they are comfortable and waterproof. A rain suit is also a good addition to your golf bag.
Should you take lessons from a golf professional? Your budget is the deciding factor here. Golf lessons are expensive but if it is within your budget it may be worthwhile. You will find that lessons will raise the standard of your game quickly. A more affordable way to take lessons is to purchase one of the many training programs available on video and dvd. Many seasoned golfers use these programs to raise the standard of their game and new golfers can learn at their own pace.
The above are just the basics of getting started in the game. Before you lift a club, develop the right mental attitude. Remain positive, quiet your mind and envision you shot before you hit the ball. A good mental game is half the battle on the road to a low handicap. Above all enjoy!